Free Children's Ministry Curriculum Written
by Sheryl Coats
and More Bugs
Celebration Medical Centre
Celebration City Courthouse
"Hill Billy days" is
an exciting theme. A backdrop with an old western town and a clothes
line with wool socks and long johns helped to create the atmosphere. The
puppets were dressed in cowboy hats and plaid shirts. Children's toys
are helpful. Stick horses and stuffed animals were used as props.
Western music also enhances the area.
To teach the children that:
1. Stay put or yall be lassoed to yur chair
2. Don't bother the cowpoke next to ya or yall be hauled off to jail
3. Ellie May hates yellin...so don't bother her with yer voice
4. Have a good ole hoe down time
Billy Jo comes in talking to his shoe. His shoe
talks back to him. It is complaining that it is just no good. Nobody
likes feet after all. It is just a smelly old foot! Good for nothing.
Billy Jo convinces the foot that it is very important because it is a
part of his body. He needs it to walk and run and kick Ellie May. The
foot can brag about all the neat stuff the other parts of the body can
do like strong arms, delicate pretty fingers that play the piano, etc.
Billy Jo can explain how every part is important, even the foot. The
foot is there to serve the rest of the body and take it where it needs
to go. He can then tell the foot about how the church people are like a
body and each of them is important. They each have a job of serving the
rest of the body. Then Billy Jo can notice the kids and welcome them and
open in prayer.
Although themes are exciting it is important to
pray that the message will be clear and apparent in the midst of the
fun. It is after all the goal of Celebration Station to introduce the
children to the message of the Bible while they are having fun. Fun
alone is not enough. Take time to teach the children how to pray. Make
it informal yet sincere.
Allow the older kids to come up and help lead the
Ellie May has a bucket of things like chalk board
erasers and things that depict certain jobs. She is trying to decide
what she wants to be when she grows up. She can ask the children what
they want to be when they grow up. The sheriff will come in and tell
them that Jesus said the greatest job of all was to be a servant. (Read
mark 10:42-45) Even children can be servants. Ellie may wants to know
what it means to be a servant. The sheriff explains it to her and then
Ellie May isn't so sure she likes being a servant. I want an important
job she says.
Speaking of jobs, the Sheriff needs some very
important people to help him with a very important job. He should choose
three big guys to be first, two medium guys to be second and one small
tyke to be last. Then he should build a pyramid with them. How does it
feel to be first now? How does it feel to be last? You see Ellie may,
being first or important isn't always that great. Being a servant makes
you feel good inside and it makes others feel good. Doing what God wants
you to do is what is important.
Select two players from the girls group and two players from the boys
group. This is an obstacle course game. Each child is given a hobby or
stick horse. They have to ride around the barrels set up in a course and
when they arrive at the last barrel, there are two foam horse shoes to
throw in a bucket. After the two horseshoes are thrown, the contestant
rides back and passes their horse back to the next player.
Select two boy/two girls. One team member is given a bucket and the
other is given a broom. Use foam snakes with words from the memory verse
on them. One member sweeps the snakes into the bucket of their partner.
They must sweep only the words from the memory verse into the bucket
though. The team with the most memory verse snakes wins.
Western music plays. The memory verse is delivered
by "Pony Express". It is written on brown paper and wrapped around a
brick or a scrub brush. When it is tossed onto the stage, the leader
unwraps it and begins to teach the verse. While they are teaching the
verse they stand very close to the puppet stage and a bandit sneaks up
behind them. The puppet wears a banana over his nose and a cowboy hat.
He is known as the "Memory Verse Bandit". After the verse is taught the
Bandit steals it. The leader calls the sheriff. They post a reward sign
for the Bandit and the Sheriff promises to be back next week to watch
for the Bandit. This provides the leader with an opportunity to teach
the importance of remembering verses, the importance of hiding them in
"Whoever wants to be first must be a slave of all." Mark 10:44
The Bandit is silent so the following is an example of how the leader
goes about teaching the verse.
Leader: Ok kids! It looks like the "Pony Express" just came
by. That is how they used to deliver mail before there were cars. It
looks like mama sent us a package. Let's unwrap it. Oh it's a memory
verse. Why don't we learn it? Let's read it together.
Have the children repeat the verse until they can do it without
looking at the sheet.
Pa Jones is back and wearing a splint.
Leader: Hey ther' Pa, what happened to you?
Pa: Well ya see, I climbed up on a ladder to fix them shutters
of ma's. I was busy hammerin and I plum fell off the ladder and I hurt
my arm. The doc put this here splint on it to help it heal.
Leader: A splint? What's that?
Pa: Ya see these here boards? They support my arm and hold my
bones in place so they can heal.
Leader: That's pretty cool. Mama tol me that we Christians are
supposed to support one another. I wonder, does that mean that I need to
hook myself together with someone else. Hey Billy Jo, come here. (She
proceeds to try to splint herself together with Billy Joe)
Pa: Fer goodness sakes Ellie may! Err ya dumb or something? Ma
meant that wes supposed to help one another just like this splint helps
my arm. When someone's hurtin we should try to help them as much as we
Leader: Oh I get it pa. Boy am I glad fer that. I would hate
to be connected to ole Billy Joe all the time.
Pa: Well, I'd a better be goin. I have another doctors
appointment in just a little while. See ya later Ellie May.
Leader: By Pa! Thanks for teachin me about helpin others.
Billy Jo comes runnin in with some goodies. He asks
who would like some. He tells the kids who want some to come up and line
up in front of him. He then goes to the end of the line and starts to
pass out treats from the end. He can tell the kids that the Bible says
the first shall be last and the last shall be first. He should run
out of treats before he gets back to the beginning of the line (have
some hidden in your pocket to give them after you are done making your
point). We are often so worried about ourselves that we don't care if
other people get hurt or left out.
Ellie may can close with the story of the disciples who wanted to sit
at the right hand of Jesus. Life isn't about getting but about serving.
God tells us that the most important job we have as his body is to serve
others. It is hard to put other people first but that is what God wants
us to do. He wants us to be concerned about others more than we are
concerned about ourselves. What does this mean? It means that when mom
asks you to help you don't worry about whether you are the one who made
the mess. You do it because God wants you to serve your mom. When there
is only one piece of cake and two kids you say go ahead and take it. We
will be rewarded in heaven for being servants of Christ on earth.
Copyright 1998, Sheryl Coats